Spade Heart  Diamond Club
Minutes of the 2009 AGM

Minutes of the 2009 AGM

of the North Cambridge Bridge Club


Date:              Monday 11th May 2009

Time:              7.00 p.m.

Place:             Girton Pavilion, Recreation Ground, Girton


There were 37 members present, including Andrew Wilkinson (Acting Chairman), Wendy Pollard (Secretary) and Margaret Mitchley (Treasurer).


Andrew thanked all present for their attendance.


1.                 Apologies had been received from Anne Hamilton, Pat Atkin, Graham Clarke, Doreen Rapley, Myriam Warburton and Ann Aplin.

Wendy announced that, due to ill-health, Anne Hamilton would not be renewing her membership, and that the Club wished to send her all good wishes, and thank her for her contribution to the Club, particularly as former Secretary.


2.         Minutes of the Last Meeting

                        The Minutes of the meeting held on 13 May 2008 were agreed to be a true record. Proposed by Bernard Buckley, seconded by Peter Last.


3.         Matters Arising

                        There were no matters arising.


4.                  Chairman’s Report

Andrew explained that he had taken over from Ian Aldridge halfway through the year, when ill-health had prevented him from attending regularly. All would be glad to see him at this meeting, and, on behalf of the membership, the Committee wished to make a presentation to him as a small token of thanks for all his services to the Club over the years.

It had generally been a good year for the Club, with attendance of more than ten tables on some evenings. North Cambridge BC members had had good results in County competitions, Pat Atkin and Graham Clarke having had a splendid win in the County Pairs Final, and Gladys Gittins coming first, Wendy Pollard second, in the County Individual Final. Ann Aplin (with Fred Allen) had been joint third in the Jubilee Pairs, and John Pearce’s team fourth in the Open Swiss Teams. In the NICKO Plate, North Cambridge 1 (Ian Aldridge, Anne Hamilton, Pat Atkin, Graham Clarke and John Pearce) had currently reached the last 16.

Complaints had been received regarding slow play and other forms of anti-social behaviour. Members are reminded of the guidelines set out by the EBU in the document, ‘Best Behaviour at Bridge’. Being polite to your partner and opponents is taken seriously and the standard fine for infringement is 3 IMPS, with a second offence leading to disqualification. Slow play can be forgiven if the player is a novice, but otherwise the director may take boards away, and impose average minuses on offenders.


5.                  Secretary’s Report

Wendy thanked all those who helped her through her first year as Club Secretary, Ian as Chairman, and later Andrew as Acting Chairman, Margaret as an exemplary Treasurer, all the other committee members, and also Joanne as outgoing Secretary for much advice and support.      

The Club had 61 subscriptions this year (including 6 new members), and a further two new members are joining with effect from this AGM, so the membership of the club will remain at the same level as last year.

            The Christmas party was once again a great success, and exactly the same excellent amount (£174.00) as last year had been raised for the chosen charity, CLIC Sargent, the children’s cancer charity, offering all round care and support to the children and their families.

            Particular thanks were due to Roy for his work as scorer, both for the weekly results, and for supervising the handicap events, to Zona as Tournament Director, and to David for providing all that is necessary for the refreshments. Also thanks to a further two members not at present on the committee, Robert who always helps set up and clear away, and last, but not least, Peter Cowley for maintaining the website.

            Mention of the website led to news of the first of two changes hoped to be made in the coming year. The Committee had agreed at its last meeting that a new site set up using the EBU-recommended BridgeWebs facility would be preferable to the present site, grateful as they have been to Peter in the past. The main advantages are that no specialist software is required, so officers of the club will be able to access the site using a password to keep the site fully up to date, it will be easier to implement Pay2Play, and full information on the club’s constitution, club rules and competitions can be posted, to which members can refer. A forum section might later be included. The EBU is offering one year’s free subscription for clubs not at present subscribing, after which the cost will be £40 per annum, a slight reduction on present costs. Roy is currently initiating the setting-up process.

            The committee had decided that the second change should be put to the vote at this AGM, since extra costs are involved. This is a proposal to have Duplimated hands, with hand records available at the end of the evening. It is felt that this would give the club a higher profile, as a forward-going organization, and thus attract more members. There is also the advantage that more time will be available for play, as there will be no need to shuffle and deal at the beginning of the evening, nor to fill out curtain cards. We are not suggesting the considerable cost of the purchase of a Duplimate machine, but have been able to come to an agreement with Penny Riley of the Cambridge Bridge Club and the Cambs & Hunts Association, to use the machine at her house for a very modest fee. We feel the initial cost of purchasing the boards and cards (approximately £250) can be met out of our reserves without unduly depleting them, and that the annual running costs can be met out of income. We would like to take a vote on this proposal, which is unanimously recommended by the committee, after Margaret has further explained the financial implications in her report which will follows.

            Finally, and relevant to Pat and Graham’s splendid win in the County Pairs, already mentioned by Andrew, the committee has decided that non-members will be allowed to play in the club heat for this competition, but only if partnering a club member, with the objective of ensuring a reasonable number of qualifiers for the final from our club. Further, this year, for example, we could have had three qualifying pairs, but the other qualifiers were not able to play on the day of the final. The rules of the competition meant that we could not substitute other pairs who were placed in the bottom half of the heat. We will ask members participating in the club heat not to enter if they will be unavailable on the date of the final, which we will publicize well in advance.

6.                  Treasurer’s Report

Margaret had distributed audited copies of the accounts. The format this year differs slightly this year in that she had shown separately the monies taken from the various SIMS events and shown as an expense the monies paid for participation, together with the small token payment made to whoever gives up some time to sort the cards. She had adjusted last year’s accounts on a similar basis to give as good a comparison as possible.

The accounts show that, whilst membership has remained broadly similar, the table money from non-SIMS events has increased. However, it is not yet at the level reached in 2007 when we received over £3000, and the weekly contribution varies considerably; the average is around 8 tables per session.

Although we have made a profit of about £150 this year, it should be noted that our outgoings in particular areas have fallen. We did not make any payment this year in respect of training, and the costs for stationery have fallen to an abnormally low level.

Looking ahead, we will not receive any bank interest this year (due to the financial situation), and there is no guarantee that our table money will hold up. Wendy had in her report discussed the future adoption of Duplimated boards. There would be an initial cost of approximately £250, which the committee feels it would be sensible to meet from our current reserves. However, there will be an annual cost of approximately £230, which we cannot accommodate without further depleting our reserves and making a loss on an ongoing basis. The committee therefore recommends that we increase the membership subscription fee from its current level of £5 to £10. This would increase annual income by around £300 and would cover the annual Duplimate costs. Our current subscription is low compared with other clubs in the area, and the increase will enable us to have a stronger financial position going forward.

There would be no increase this year for rental of the Girton Pavilion, but it was possible that there might be an increase next year, plus a small charge, which we do not at present pay, for storing Club property on site.

Following the Treasurer’s Report, a vote for adoption of Duplimated hands was passed unanimously, and a vote agreeing the increase in the subscription was also passed unanimously.

Peter Last proposed and Peter Morgan seconded adoption of the accounts.


7.         Appointment of Auditor

Peter Last proposed, and Alison Cowley, seconded the re-appointment of David Pett as auditor.


7.                  Programme for 2009/2010

Andrew announced some changes in the format of club competitions for which there had previously been qualifying heats followed by a final, taking place in parallel to a duplicate event for non-qualifiers. Ray Cornish had submitted a paper in this regard, for which the committee thanked him. The committee agreed that a split evening was unsatisfactory for all concerned. In future therefore, the Club Teams Championship would be a single session event, and the Club Pairs and Handicap Pairs Championship would be two-session events to be won on the basis of aggregate scores.

We were proposing to enter the David Boston SIMS again this year, because of the Club’s links to the event, despite low attendance due to the same boards being played throughout the week. However, from the floor, Alan Edwards informed the meeting that the Thursday Club would no longer be participating in this event, so the previous remark could to some extent be discounted.


8.                  Election of Officers and Committee

Nominations for officers and committee had been posted on the notice-board, and there were no contested positions. The following were therefore elected nem. con., proposed by Bernard Buckley and seconded by Joanne Caldwell:


John Pearce – Chairman

Wendy Pollard – Secretary

Margaret Mitchley  Treasurer

Andrew Wilkinson – Tournament Director

            Roy Newman – Scorer

David Larman

Robert Wright


10        Presentation of Prizes


Championship Pairs

Pat Atkin and Graham Clarke

Championship Teams

Tanawan Watts, Simon Stokes,

Sue Mealing, Peter Last

Winter Pairs

Joanne Caldwell and Ian McDonald

Handicap Pairs

Alison Lloyd and Peter Cowley

Handicap Teams

Mary Raven, John Evans, John Pearce, Chris Dickman


            Zona Lacy thanked all the Directors for their hard work over the last                  year. A presentation was made to Zona, who was resigning from the committee, to thank her for her contribution over the years, particularly recently as Tournament Director.


11                    Any Other Business

Alan Edwards asked whether the polarity of the room could be reversed so that a Director sitting South could face the room. After discussion, it was decided that this would cause too much confusion.

Angela Newman proposed that Masterpoints should be electronically registered with the EBU, a more convenient and economical method of distribution. This was agreed.


The meeting closed at 7.35 p.m.